Understanding Sin and Evil-logo

Understanding Sin and Evil

Religion & Spirituality Podcas >

Dr. Miryam Brand on Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Ancient World

Dr. Miryam Brand on Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Ancient World
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Dr. Miryam Brand on Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Ancient World

Language:

English


Episodes

#29: Ezekiel, Intergenerational Punishment & Individual Responsibility - Understanding Sin and Evil

7/5/2018
More
This podcast is a continuation of the previous discussion on the shift of the biblical view and representation of intergenerational punishment. In this podcast, we delve into Ezekiel and his presentation of the “way things work”: there is no intergenerational punishment, and each individual is responsible for him or herself … The post #29: Ezekiel, Intergenerational Punishment & Individual Responsibility appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:35:22

Intergenerational Punishment - Changing Worldviews in the Bible

7/5/2018
More
In this episode we discuss the approach to divine intergenerational punishment (the punishment of a future generation for the sins of a past generation) in the Bible, such as in the “Divine Attributes” enumerated in Exodus, and how we can see a distinctive shift in the attitude toward intergenerational punishment … The post #28: Intergenerational Punishment – Changing Worldviews in the Bible appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:32:37

Collective Punishment -- Divine Morality and Human Justice

1/31/2018
More
In this far-reaching episode, we discuss the idea of collective punishment in the Hebrew Bible, the problems it poses in the context of divine morality, and its (strict) limits in human justice. We explore the stories of Sodom and the Concubine of Gibeah, the statute of the “Rejected City” of … The post #27: Collective Punishment — Divine Morality and Human Justice appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:55:55

Behind the Scenes of the Hanukkah Story: The Books of the Maccabees

12/9/2017
More
What was behind Antiochus’s decrees? Was Hanukkah really the end of the fight for independence? And what was the difference between Judean and Diaspora views of the Hanukkah story and the Hasmonean revolt? I explored these questions through a talk on the First and Second Books of the Maccabees – two … The post Behind the Scenes of the Hanukkah Story: The Books of the Maccabees appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:50:55

Concepts of Sin -- The Meaning of Scripture and Sin as Burden

11/15/2017
More
In this episode, we discuss what it means for our changing understanding of sin to have a canonized, “frozen” Scripture that must remain relevant, and begin exploring the biblical ideas of “sin as a burden” and intergenerational punishment. Why would someone believe that future generations could suffer for the sins … The post #26: Concepts of Sin — The Meaning of Scripture and Sin as Burden appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:32:03

The "Understanding Sin" Recap Episode: How Far We've Come -- Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, & Second Temple Literature

10/25/2017
More
In this episode, I recap everything we have discussed so far, before I begin a new chapter of the podcast. This is a great place to start if you are new to the podcast, and you can then cherry-pick the past episodes you would like to delve into further. As … The post #25: The “Understanding Sin” Recap Episode — How Far We’ve Come! appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:36:16

The Puzzle of the Treatise of the Two Spirits

10/4/2017
More
Join me for a close reading of the Treatise of the Two Spirits, a passage in the Community Rule that explains the origin of sin as the result of a dualistic division between the Prince of Light and the Angel of Darkness. (And yes, I’m hoarse in this episode. Change … The post #24: The Puzzle of the Treatise of the Two Spirits appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:33:20

Sin, Choice, and Responsibility -- The Evil Inclination in Legal Dead Sea Scrolls

9/13/2017
More
In this episode, we explore texts from the Qumran community that emphasize responsibility for sin and freedom of choice, despite the sect’s usual deterministic leanings. In the Dead Sea sect’s legal texts, community members are exhorted that they must choose God’s commandments while ignoring their own will — in other words, their evil inclination. … The post #23: Sin, Choice & Responsibility — The Evil Inclination in Legal Dead Sea Scrolls appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:39:21

Sin as State -- The Evil Inclination in Sectarian Prayer

8/23/2017
More
In this episode, we look at two Dead Sea Scroll sectarian prayers — the Hodayot and the “Hymn of Praise” in the Community Rule — that present sin, or the inclination to sin, as a state of being. Specifically, they present sin as a state natural to all humans as … The post #22: Sin as State — The Evil Inclination in Sectarian Prayer appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:38:30

Second Temple Prayer and the Evil Inclination: A Cry to the Divine

8/2/2017
More
In this episode, we examine the idea of an evil inclination in Second Temple prayer. How did Jews in the Second Temple period characterize the idea of an internal inclination to sin, and how did they expect God to help? We will look closely at those prayers considered “non-sectarian” — … The post #21: Second Temple Prayer and the Evil Inclination – A Cry to the Divine appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:38:10

Fourth Ezra and the Tragedy of the Evil Heart

7/20/2017
More
As we continue our series on the idea of an “evil inclination” in Second Temple literature, we return to Fourth Ezra (4 Ezra/2 Esdras) and Second Baruch, and how these books, written in the wake of the destruction of the Second Temple, deal with a belief in an “evil heart” … The post #20: Fourth Ezra and the Tragedy of the Evil Heart appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:33:15

Philo of Alexandria and "Pessimistic" Free Will

6/15/2017
More
In this episode we move farther afield to Egypt and the Diaspora community of Alexandria. How did Philo of Alexandria (also known as Philo Judaeus) approach the human desire to sin while navigating between a belief in divine revelation and an acceptance of Greek thought? How does Philo reconcile the … The post #19: Philo of Alexandria and “Pessimistic” Free Will appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:29:45

Ben Sira: The Context of Sin and the Beauty of Pairs

6/2/2017
More
In this week’s episode, we continue with Ben Sira and how the book of Ben Sira reflects a range of views on sin. What can this teach us about context in ancient texts? Listen and find out! The post #18: Ben Sira — The Context of Sin and the Beauty of Pairs appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:32:11

Between Fire and Water: The Evil Inclination and Free Will in Ben Sira

5/19/2017
More
In this episode we discuss Ben Sira, and how his approach to the evil inclination is a predecessor of a prominent modern understanding of the “problem” of sin. What does it mean to believe in a God who created humans and hates sin, while acknowledging that people still “like” to sin? … The post #17: Between Fire and Water: The Evil Inclination and Free Will in Ben Sira appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:37:49

The Inevitability of Evil? The Evil Inclination and the Flood

4/9/2017
More
In this podcast, we discuss the first place an “evil inclination” is mentioned in the Bible: the description of the state of humanity before and after the Flood, seen through divine eyes. Unlike the defined “yetzer hara” in later Rabbinic literature, the human “evil inclination” of the Bible is closer to … The post #16: The Inevitability of Evil? The Evil Inclination and the Flood appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:40:05

Demons at War: Belial in the War Scroll

3/22/2017
More
Why is the War Scroll more “universal” than other Qumran texts? Why does the attitude of the Qumran Community toward outsiders “change” in the different Scrolls? And where does Belial come in? Tune in to the conclusion of the “demonic” section of the podcast to hear the answers! Special thanks … The post #15: Demons at War: Belial in the War Scroll appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:44:51

A Kinder, Gentler Belial? Belial in the Damascus Document

7/15/2016
More
In this episode, we discuss Belial’s role in the Damascus Document, an important rule text in the Dead Sea Scrolls. What are the “traps” of Belial? How did Belial (at least in the Damascus Document) “help” Qumran community members be more sympathetic towards outsiders? And what happens when a Qumran … The post #14: A Kinder, Gentler Belial? The Damascus Document & Belial’s “Traps” appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:36:08

The Lot of Belial in the Community Rule - Born that Way?

6/20/2016
More
In this episode, we read the Dead Sea Scrolls — specifically, the Community Rule — closely and examine the Qumran community’s view of Belial and sin. How was Belial used to define the sect and others? Did the Qumran community really think that people were born into the lot of Belial or the lot of … The post #13: The Lot of Belial in the Community Rule – Born that Way? appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:28:02

Shavuot Episode! Torah versus Sin in Second Temple & Talmudic Thought

6/9/2016
More
In this Shavuot “bonus” episode, we will discuss the special status of the Torah for fighting sin, in both Second Temple literature and later Talmudic texts. (Download the source sheet here.) We will look at: Dead Sea Scroll prayers that reflect the belief in the metaphysical power of the Torah to … The post #12: Shavuot Episode! Torah versus Sin in Second Temple & Talmudic Thought appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:29:38

The Demon in Charge? Mastema in the Book of Jubilees

5/6/2016
More
In this episode, we will continue our exploration of satanic figures in Second Temple texts. After recapping our last episode, we will discuss the varied role of Mastema in the Book of Jubilees, both as the head of the Watchers and as the “Satan stand-in” for most of the book. Why did … The post #11: The Demon in Charge? Mastema in the Book of Jubilees appeared first on Understanding Sin and Evil.

Duration:00:45:34